Payton Ridenour, the youngest member of the U.S. BMX racing squad, is also one of the youngest Olympians at the age of 19.
For Ridenour, “COVID is the best thing that could have occurred to me with the Olympic qualifications since that provided me a full extra year to train,” he stated in an interview.
In an interview, Ridenour remarked, “Last year my huge aim was to go to Tokyo, and I felt it was achievable but a little far out to reach.” That year without COVID competitions gave me the opportunity to hone my skills in the comfort of my own home.
To quote myself: “I came into this year so much faster than previous year and just a better athlete overall.”
Consider Ridenour’s trip to Japan.
Among the best amateur riders in the United States, Ridenour has won seven USA BMX national titles. She is a multi-discipline rider who took first place at the 2019 UCI Red Bull Pump Track World Championships. In 2019, Ridenour also finished in the top five of the world’s junior elite women.
In 2020, Ridenour completed his high school education at Owen J. Roberts. Ridenour maintained an A average in the classroom and was a regular at the BMX track he rode at in Pottstown, so it’s safe to assume that he was also a proficient rider.
BMX Family Tree
Ridenour’s enthusiasm for BMX is shared by more than just herself. Keith Ridenour, her dad, has been riding BMX for a while now. He has been riding since he was a young boy.
Just riding bikes every day was second nature to me. In an interview with a local Pottstown publication, he gushed, “I adored it as a kid and I still love it.”
Among the companies that support Ridenour are Mongoose Bikes, WD-40, Shimano, and the USA BMX Foundation. U.S. elementary schools can benefit from the USA BMX Foundation’s STEM education programmes since they are inspired by cycling.
Newcomer Felicia Stancil and three-time Olympian Alise Willoughby will compete alongside Ridenour.
Ridenour is driven not only by his love of speed on the track, but also by his need for knowledge and the motivation it can provide.
While not competing, Ridenour worked on her first children’s book with freelance illustrator Andy Lendway.
I wanted to adapt this children’s book because there is nothing else like it in the BMX world. Children have role models in the pros, but many kids don’t have pros at their local BMX track, Ridenour remarked in an interview.
It was my hope that children would find a source of inspiration in something they might look up to.
Anyone with a passion for bicycles, Ridenour says, should find this book motivating.